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Creative Corporealities

This interdisciplinary research group concerns itself with the body as a source of creative material and notions of embodiment in cultural contexts.

Creative Corporealities is an interdisciplinary research group that responds to a contemporary revision in notions of humanity, felt both viscerally and intellectually, for which the predominant answer is embodiment and creativity.

Who we are

We are practitioners and academics working across a wide range of disciplines, based at Bath Spa University, with research themes accommodated under the banner of the Centre for Cultural and Creative Industries. Creative Corporealities concerns itself with embodiment as a source of creative practice, with its own causalities and politics. We develop and observe disciplinary practices that engage and affect a body that is generative of creative processes. 

We are also on the steering group for the Research Centre for the Environmental Humanities, representing performance and arts research. 

Projects

Our researchers are engaged in projects that have been funded by organisations such as the Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

One Lost Stone

Thomas Kampe (director)
£84k Heritage Lottery Arts funding
September 2019

One Lost Stone is a site responsive performance piece researching the hidden legacy of Sephardic Jews in London, and was performed at Novo Cemetery in London. This formed part of the project Discovering and Documenting England’s Lost Jews, a production in collaboration with the Pascal Theatre company, which looked to use performative and embodied means to investigate hidden and reluctant British histories.

Dwelling

Mary Steadman

‘Dwelling’ is a practice based PhD project. The film will be site responsive, taking place at the ruins of Poltimore House in Devon. The project engages with Hauntology in practice, seeking to investigate notions of ‘broken time’ through an embodied performative approach.

Book - The Imagining Body in Performer Training: The Legacy of Jacques Lecoq and Gaston Bachelard

Bath Spa's Ellie Nixon is currently writing a monograph titled The Imagining Body in Performer Training: The Legacy of Jacques Lecoq and Gaston Bachelard as part of the Perspectives on Performer Training Book Series, to be published by Routledge in 2019.

Body IQ festival

Organisers: Kai Ehrhardt and Thomas Kampe
15 to 17 November 2019
Somatische Akademie Berlin

BODY IQ is an international symposium and festival that celebrates ourselves as living, pulsating bodies. Without the body there is no experience and without experience there is no ground for intelligence. It is a festival of and by the conscious body - ensuring discovery, exchange and unexpected synergies.

50 international experts, artists and teachers will gather distinctions and commonalities of somatic approaches, then disseminate them into a wide spectrum of applications, penetrating - from arts to healing to politics - many domains of human activity.

This festival aspires to be a platform that generates impulses for the knowledge, wisdom and wonder of the conscious, human form.

displaced/displayed: re-enacting dances of migration

Artistic direction: Thomas Kampe
Editorial direction: Manuela Jara
Choreographic direction and research: Carol Brown
Sound: Russell Scoones
Video artist: Meek Zuiderwyk
Video assistant: Freddie Errazo
The New Zealand Dance Company: Carl Tolentino, Lucy Lynch, Chris Ofanoa, Katie Rudd

*This performance will be featured as part of a major exhibition at the Theatre Museum Vienna in March 2019.

Displaced/displayed re-activates the legacy of Viennese choreographer Gertrud Bodenwieser (Vienna 1890 – Sydney 1959) and her dancers within a context of global transmission of dance knowledge through crisis, diaspora and exile. This installation coincides with the 80th anniversary of Bodenwieser’s exile from Europe and celebrates the possibility of a nearly lost avant-garde to remain.

It builds on artistic research undertaken by Kampe and Brown between 2014 and 2017 (‘Releasing the Archive’, Auckland, Berlin, Hannover, Bath, Tel Aviv and Vienna) in collaboration with The New Zealand Dance Company and international scholars. The installation draws on video footage of choreographic work developed through the re-enacting of archival material of ex-Bodenwieser dancers Shona Dunlop-McTavish, Hillary Napier and Hilde Holger. The installation explores practices of displacement, doubling and fragmenting of recorded material to echo and honour the labour of lost modernist dancers and dances of exile.

With thanks to Shona Dunlop-MacTavish, Shona McCullagh, Barbara Cuckson, Laure Guilbert, Neil Glen, Anthony Head, Kirsten Seeligmüller. The project was supported through Bath Spa University and University of Auckland.

The Last Hurrah

The Last Hurrah (and The Long Haul) is a collaborative practice-based research project between Rew Lowe and Matt Law responding to questions of ecological urgency through performance practice : ‘How might we communicate the issue of climate change in such a way as to at once engage people whilst also moving them to some form of positive action or behavioural change?’

ScreenDanceSpace

ScreenDanceSpace is a Bath Spa based research and practice environment that fosters engagement with screendance, organised by Chris Lewis-Smith. A three day symposium in June 2018, representing the first event of ScreenDanceSpace, attracted undergraduate and postgraduate screendance makers from within and beyond the university, forming a broad community of emerging international artists.

The second event, a screening of postgraduate work, took place in the University theatre on 20 February 2019, and a second symposium, where screendance makers will collaborate with script writers, is planned for June 2019.

Sweet Waters

Sweet Waters, by Richard White, is a project that combines walking with an exploration of the reluctant heritage surrounding British slave-ownership. 

Water. Life. Trade. A cycle of participatory performative walks and creative dialogues in Bath and along the River Avon. From rain to river to sea to sky and back: walking-with heritage, memories, silences, absences, stories, relics

Events

There will be a series of presentations by members of the Creative Corporealites research group and outside guest speakers. These will take place in May/June 2019. These are supported by Bath Spa University Quality Research funding.

Unless otherwise stated, our events are free and open to staff, students and members of the public. Our public lectures are likely to be of broadest interest, while research seminars are intended primarily for staff and postgraduate students.

Dialogues series - Performing Creative Embodiment

The following presentations have been organised as part of our Performing Creative Embodiment series.

  • 22 May 2019: Nita Little and Mary Steadman
    Newton Park, UT.113 - 6pm

Researching Relational Intelligence: Is there another “human” we can embody?

When dance research investigates the attentional skills present within human performance it questions the kinds of practices entangled in our lived concepts of the human. Influenced by critical conversations in diverse fields from cognitive and neuroscience to feminist theory and black studies, we review and challenge cultural influences that limit and define our self-concepts. Our physical results propose new modes and means of relational intelligence. Key to this intelligence are skills that influence our insistent individuation and articulate not only our presence in performance, but also our ability to move in greater concert and communion within all our environments. Why is this important in this moment when the future of the human is in question?

Mary Steadman will also present ‘Dwelling’ - part of her PhD practice-based research which investigates the concept of Hauntology (Derrida 1994) and Spectrality in performance practice. The focus of this presentation will look at how time is 'disjointed', how the past and future haunted by spectral presence.

Nita Little is an activist for relational intelligence through improvisational dance practices that began with the emergence and development of Contact Improvisation (CI). A dancer, teacher, choreographer, and dance theorist, her work with Steve Paxton was generative of CI in 1972. She initiated the Institute for the Study of Somatic Communication (the ISSC) in 2016 with dance research ensembles (which all share CI in common) participating from around the globe.

  • 5 June 2019: Richard White and Clare Qualman
    Newton Park, UT.113 - 6pm 

Artist Clare Qualmann will be in conversation with Bath Spa's Richard White (Senior Lecturer, Media Practice) to discuss her project Perambulator - an ongoing walking artwork with prams. Working from an auto-ethnographic standpoint, the project explores gendered spaces, maternal narratives and shifting identities, inequality and mobilities. This work aims to explore questions that connect the personal and the political, using performance in a range of formats and scales to make visible, celebrate and reclaim public space.

Clare Qualmann is an artist/researcher working across a wide range of media; from drawing and sculpture to text-works and live art events (often in the form of walks). She was a founder member of the Walking Artists Network and continues to facilitate its online presence, occasional events, and a seminar series that connects those using walking as part of a creative critical practice. She lectures at the University of East London, and at London Metropolitan University where her teaching and research focus on participatory, site specific, and experimental modes of contemporary creative practice.

Relational intelligence: a contact improvisation and ensemble improvisation skills workshop

24 May from 6PM to 9PM; 25 and 26 May - 10AM to 6PM
University Theatre (113), Newton Park, Bath Spa University
£115 full price; £75 for Bath Spa students

Book now

Presented by Nita Little; organised by member Silvia Carderelli-Gronau

When bodies meet, intelligence is found in the quality of touch, the organization of physical forms, the ability to share the physics of motion, timing, and the giving and receiving of weight – but it is also and particularly in our ability to communicate.

In this workshop we will study tonal states in order to enhance dancer’s ability to in-form one another, cast physical attention into and through different spaces of being and within one another’s flesh, so as to speak to one another in the language and varieties of presence.

This work is for dancers whose Contact Improvisation practice is beyond the beginning levels - those familiar with inversions, easy weight exchange, and familiar with changing states. Expect to be touched on all levels.

Nita Little is a dance activist for relational intelligence, a purpose which began with the emergence and development of Contact Improvisation (CI). Specializing in dance improvisation as a choreographic, performance, and research form, Little shapes dancer’s physical attention in order to investigate the technical and creative potentials of embodiment. She is a visiting fellow at CCRG.

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